Police records show around 5,882 people were killed across the country since President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30. Of that number, only three (3) got killed in Ilocos Norte while 151 pushers and 15 users were arrested in six months.
For the Ilocos Norte police, it will take some time before all the 557 villages of Ilocos Norte's 21 towns and two cities will be free from drugs.
"In time, we will get there," said Police Chief Inspector Dexter Diovic Corpuz, Chief Provincial Public Information Officer of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO).
In the middle of the anti-drug campaign, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa visited members of the Ilocos Norte Police urging local police here to pray harder while they are on mission to clear the country of drugs no matter what it takes.
For residents here, the series of operations of the "Oplan Tokhang", a nationwide campaign of the PNP to eradicate drugs, has been a welcome development under the Duterte administration who won the hearts of many for his promise of change.
"That promise of change is just starting. Clearly, local authorities are doing their best but as a community, we should do more," said a village peace-keeping officer or tanod Wilma Viernes from Barangay Santa Angela, Laoag City.
Viernes, along with fellow tanods, are often seen in the village streets even on late nights to check on the community.
Since July 1, 2016, the INPPO has reported a total of 153 raids conducted, mostly through buy bust and search warrant operations.
The Ilocos Norte police also visited 68,509 houses which yielded to a total of 5,889 surrendered drug addicts, 460 of them identified pushers.
Under the priority list of the Provincial Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group, around 603 drug pushers and users were on the target lists.
Records show, however, that there are more drug-affected barangays which the police hope to clear with the onset of the New Year.
Source: Philippines News Agency